Meet Thewy - student at Cal State Los Angeles, part-time barista, full-time music fanatic. He likes his music and his kicks retro. On Friday night I shadowed him at Echo Park Rising - a free three day music festival in Los Angeles where he had the chance to see Cherry Glazerr and Allah-Las perform live.
He doesn't discriminate against music by era or format – CD, MP3, tape and vinyl are equally enjoyable. At home, he has a turntable and a converter that transfers vinyl recordings into digital files so he can play all his tracks on his iPod when he's at work 'spilling coffee on his New Balance'.
Discovering new and different music is what he loves to do most and he admits some of his favorite unexpected finds are semi-obscure albums forgotten by all except the vinyl section at record stores. He shared the story Dreamin' Wild by Donnie and Joe Emerson. The cover alone makes it look like a cheesy failure from the 70s - and in a way it was, except the back story of its production is worth mentioning. Donnie and Joe Emerson were teenage brothers and amateur singers in 1979. Their father leveraged land to build a personal studio where they recorded their album, Dreamin' Wild. The family ordered just a hundred copies, mostly for personal distribution. Over the years, a sealed copy resurfaced and one of their original songs, 'Baby', was covered by two different artists in 2012. Since then, the album gained enough popularity that it was reissued in vinyl format.
Although he doesn't play an instrument, Thewy enjoys sharing a great song, album or artist with others who can appreciate a previously unheard gem. As of now, Thewy finds inspiration in Henry Rollins' radio show on KCRW on Sunday nights where the former Black Flag vocalist shares rare tracks. Connecting with other people through music is right up Thewy's alley - next quarter he will be a part of Cal State LA’s new radio station launching in fall 2015. You can connect with them on Instagram now. Curious about some of his favorite finds? Here are his top five current albums (and you're welcome for the rec):
Salad Days by Mac Demarco
Pinata by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Singles by Future Islands
Soul Power by Curtis Harding
Wayne Interest by Tijuana Panthers